A jury convicted Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd on April 20 after Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes in May 2020.
"I was holding my breath until about 10 minutes ago and didn't realize I was doing it until I saw ‘guilty, three counts,’ and I exhaled," District 1 Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison said after the verdict. "And so I’d also like very much to extend this opportunity to remind folks in our community that this work will never stop."
District 4 Council Member Greg Casar also acknowledged the verdict during the meeting.
"While the guilty verdict today provides accountability, it doesn't provide real justice. Real justice would be George Floyd being able to return to his daughter Gianna. Real justice would be never allowing this to happen again," Casar said.
Other local leaders, including Mayor Steve Adler, District 2 Council Member Vanessa Fuentes and District 10 Council Member Alison Alter shared reactions on social media.
George Floyd’s murder led to national protests and calls for the enactment of policing and social justice reforms, including here in Austin. We have made a commitment here to holding police officers accountable and to implementing social justice and policing reforms.
— Mayor Adler | wear a mask. (@MayorAdler) April 20, 2021
Derek Chauvin’s conviction is only one step towards providing healing/justice for George Floyd’s family + for our nation as a whole. It’s up to us to honor Mr. Floyd + the many others lost to police violence by transforming public safety and making our communities safe for all. https://t.co/RVgQmcAf6I pic.twitter.com/hCHLibYjoy
— Council Member Alison Alter (@ALTERforATX) April 20, 2021
While the family and friends of George Floyd will continue to feel their loss, justice served in the courtroom today is a step toward change. Floyd’s death amplified a broken system and awakened a nation.
The fight continues until we have justice for all. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd
— Vanessa Fuentes (@VanessaForATX) April 20, 2021
State lawmakers have filed bills in the Texas Legislature that would change laws regarding use-of-force policies, accountability measures for police officers and the public release of body camera footage. The city of Austin is also making changes to its department, including cutting funds from the police department budget in fiscal year 2020-21 and reinvesting in other programs. A firm timeline for the city to adopt recommendations from the group of staff and citizens that presented April 20, called the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, has not yet been established.